screen shot of Sigil epub editor

Sigil: A Free Utility for Editing epub Files

I’m doing these epub posts bass-ackwards, but that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me.

So how did I correct the problems with my epub file reported by Pagina epub checker? How did I prepare the epub file in the first place?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sigil. If you google sigil you get this wonderful definition:

an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power

But what I want you to do is to google download sigil and look for a reputable site from which to download the epub editor.

Once you have it installed, come back here . . .

Okay, so now you have Sigil.

See, an epub (or a mobi) is just a zip file of the content html file and all the support files. If you want to check this out, just change the suffix of any epub or mobi file to zip and check out the contents.

Sigil is a free Open Source epub editor that lets you edit the epub content xhtml files and any image files, including the cover, plus images within the content. It also lets you define both TOCs— the table of contents within the book pages and also the table of contents that lives behind the scenes in the epub collection of files.

Sigil guides you toward creating separate files for each of the chapters and guides you in creating the cover jpeg— you still need to supply an image of the right size.

You can load a validator into Sigil, but I used epubcheck (see previous post on validating epubs), which provides the file name and line number of any problematic code. You go into Sigil and fix the problem just like that: surgical strike.

See, an epub or Kindle is mainly html code, probably assisted by a css style sheet, which Sigil guides you toward.

If you’re building your own epub, you want Sigil.

And do you know about Kindle Previewer? It will convert an epub file to mobi, which is the Kindle format. And it will let you preview the mobi file in the various Kindle capabilities.

I think that covers it, but I’ll add anything if I think of it.

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